Chemistry project gets Big Tick
Press release issued: 10 June 2009
A Bristol University project that is bringing chemistry to life for thousands of schoolchildren has won a prestigious Big Tick in Business in the Community’s Awards for Excellence 2009.
Launched in 2005 with funding from the University and the Higher Education Funding Council for England, Bristol ChemLabS is a designated national Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and includes a strong schools-outreach programme.
This is the first Big Tick ever awarded to a university department for outreach activities and is also the first awarded to an educational programme in the chemical sciences.
Now in their 12th year, Business in the Community’s Awards for Excellence are the UK’s most recognised and influential awards for responsible business practice. Independent and peer-assessed, the awards are an opportunity for UK plc to recognise those who are leading the way in responsible business.
As well as winning a Big Tick, Bristol ChemLabS is one of seven organisations – and the only university – to be put forward as a finalist for Business in the Community’s national Example of Excellence in the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Education category. The winner will be announced at a reception at St James’s Palace on July 6.
Stephen Howard, Chief Executive of Business in the Community, said: 'We have always said that responsible business is just good business and in the current climate it’s never been more important. The Awards for Excellence celebrate powerful examples of businesses that have recognised this and as a result have had a positive impact on society and their business.'
Bristol ChemLabS engages with schools, teachers and students of all ages to provide imaginative teaching and learning opportunities in chemistry. It has active primary and secondary school programmes and holds master classes for teachers.
In March of this year, the project had a record month for outreach work, engaging face-to-face with over 9,200 people. On three occasions during the month, three outreach activities were held in different parts of the UK at the same time. In one week, three events took place in three countries – France, South Africa and the UK – simultaneously.
Professor Eric Thomas, Vice-Chancellor of the University, said: ‘Thanks to the talent and dedication of its staff, Bristol ChemLabS is having an impact locally, nationally and internationally on the way chemistry is perceived and studied. It’s a project we’re proud of and it richly deserves its Big Tick.’